Robert B.


Robert B. writes about: Philosophy, Politics

It will come as a surprise to no one to hear that our society is politically polarized. Robert B. Talisse, a professor at Vanderbilt University who specializes in contemporary political philosophy, has studied the causes—and identified a possible cure. By creating social spaces independent of political affiliation or views, he says, we can cultivate the foundation for civic friendships that are necessary for a healthy and functional democracy.

Talisse has explored this topic in his latest book, Overdoing Democracy: Why We Must Put Politics in Its Place. He is also the author of nine other books, including Democracy and Moral Conflict and Why We Argue (And How We Should), which became a weekly interview podcast hosted by Talisse that explores the triumphs and disasters of the American political conversation. He is also the cohost of the monthly podcast New Books in Philosophy and a contributor to the website 3 Quarks Daily, which has published both curated and original content daily since 2004.

The American public is no more divided now over policy than it was 30 years ago. On certain hot-button issues such as abortion and gay rights, rank-and-file citizens have moved closer together.


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